In 1972, the State Government, proposed the establishment of a satellite city at Monarto to stop Adelaide’s suburban sprawl. About an hour’s drive south east of Adelaide farms were compulsorily purchased. It was estimated the new town would have a population of 100,000 to 200,000. You can hear one farmer’s opinion about it here:
By 1980 the elaborate plan had been abandoned. In 1983 Monarto Zoo was established on 1000 hectares of the site.
Yesterday we enjoyed the “Monarto Zoo’s Lion 360 Experience”, a gift from our “kids”. The weather was perfect and when we arrived the whole place was abuzz with the news that giraffe, Kinky, had given birth early that morning. Our bus wasn’t due to arrive for about an hour so we walked around the enclosures near the Visitors’ Centre.
Click on an image to go to the slideshow where you can read the captions.
On the way to the African Safari area where the Lions are kept we passed through several environments before making a quick diversion to see the new baby. The bus paused so people could take photos but no one was able to get out of the bus.
The bus took us past the amenities blocks and on to the viewing areas. Before entering the large dome cage we were warned that the lions on show for the day were three young brothers and there was a possibility they might mark their territory. I think everyone was wary of being sprayed with stinky lion urine.
We left the bus when it returned to the previous stop and took the Bretag Ruins Walking Track.
You can find detailed information on the Bretag Farm here.
The track took us past an old cottage being renovated. The resident will have a fabulous view over the Plains habitat where the giraffes are.
After the ruins we took the Waterhole Track. Walking gave us much better views of the animals.
The Ridge Track then brought us down to the Chimpanzees’ enclosures.
Our last stop was at the cafe where the person behind the counter was very keen to know if we’d seen the baby giraffe. It was a great day, the walk back to the Visitors Centre enabling us to really feel part of the rich environment.